Ceres Goes Public Today

Biofuels company Ceres, Inc. is going public today on Nasdaq under the ticker, CERE.

The company, which markets seeds for energy crops, such as switchgrass and miscanthus, is offering 5 million shares at $13, down from its original price of $22.

The energy crops are used for transportation fuels, electricity and biobased products.

Along with Solazyme (SZYM), which went public last year, Ceres is listed among the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy, and is meeting its development milestones on time.

Still, how much interest do investors have these days for development stage companies in brand new industries like cellulosic biomass?

If Ceres succeeds, however, these IPO prices would be viewed as cheap in hindsight. By 2016, Ceres says it will reach $400 million in revenue with margins of 47%-63%. 

Last month, biodiesel manufacturer Renewable Energy Group  (Nasdaq: REGI) went public in the first cleantech IPO this year. 

Last year, advanced biofuel companies: Codexis (Nasdaq: CDXS), Kior (Nasdaq: KIOR), Gevo (GEVO),  Amyris Biotechnologies (AMRS) and Solazyme (Nasdaq: SZYM) had strong public debuts, but many have seen their shares fall dramatically since. 

About seven other biofuels companies have IPOs planned for 2012, including Myriant, Mascoma, Elevance Renewable Sciences, and Fulcrum Bioenergy.

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